At Nagoya University, we have enacted a variety of activities guidelines to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. I am deeply grateful to all of our faculty, staff, and students for your understanding and cooperation. However, these restrictions have heavily disrupted many essential University activities, including education, research, and international exchange.
Back in April and May, we had hoped that if we brought the first wave under control, life would go back to normal come summer or fall. However, we now know that this was wishful thinking: infections spread when restrictions are eased, then fall somewhat when we tighten them. In other words, we are now living with the coronavirus, and it is likely that these conditions will continue for the foreseeable future. The national government and local authorities are also engaged in a delicate balancing act between fighting COVID-19 and maintaining social and economic activity.
At Nagoya University, our priority has been to prevent the spread of COVID-19, leading us to establish our current Guidelines for Activities Levels. This has resulted in classes being moved online, and restrictions on campus entry and extracurricular activities have forced many hardships and anxieties on our students, whose lives are far removed from the campus life they would have experienced in normal times. There are first-year students who have yet to set foot on campus, and the Student Services Center has received many consultations from students seeking support and advice.
Now that we have entered a "with-corona" phase, we realize that while maintaining our current restrictions on activities has many advantages for preventing the spread of COVID-19, it also comes with negatives that only continue to grow. I recently held a discussion with students, and I took very seriously all of the earnest thoughts and opinions that they shared with me. Therefore, as we approach the fall semester, I think it is important that we gradually ease our restrictions on activities at Nagoya University. This will be done in cooperation with local authorities and the national government, taking measures to prevent the spread of infection (such as avoiding the 3Cs, wearing masks, washing hands, disinfecting, ventilating rooms, and using the contact tracing app COCOA), and taking into consideration the situation at other universities.
With this in mind, after discussions at the Novel Coronavirus Infectious Disease Risk Management Task Force, which I chair, we decided to review and update the Activity Levels at Nagoya University and enact the revised guidelines immediately. The coronavirus crisis is far from over, but together, we will overcome the challenges facing us.
September 2, 2020
Seiichi Matsuo,President of Nagoya University
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April 6, 2020